Printer Friendly

GOV. CASEY OFFERS HEALTH CARE CONSUMER BILL OF RIGHTS

 GOV. CASEY OFFERS HEALTH CARE CONSUMER BILL OF RIGHTS
 HARRISBURG, Pa., March 30 /PRNewswire/ -- Gov. Robert P. Casey today


outlined legislation that would protect health insurance policyholders from unfair practices by insurance companies.
 The legislation, known as the Health Care Consumer Bill of Rights, would prohibit insurance companies from canceling group or individual health policies unless the premium wasn't paid or fraudulent information was given on the application.
 It also would provide health insurance protection for employers who change group insurance policies and for individuals who change jobs.
 "When you're paying the high cost of health insurance today, you have a right to expect protection, not loopholes, pitfalls or black holes in coverage when you change jobs or insurance companies," Casey said at a Capitol news conference. "If you pay your premiums faithfully, you should be protected."
 The governor first proposed a Health Care Consumer Bill of Rights in his State of the Commonwealth address on Jan. 22. Today's news conference was for the purpose of detailing the proposed legislation.
 Casey said the Consumer Bill of Rights would benefit people like Kimberly Stroud of Wilkes-Barre, a 27-year-old dental assistant and single mother who attended the news conference.
 Following extensive surgery and ongoing treatment for inflammation of the colon, colitis, Stroud went without health insurance for three months after accepting a new job with a required waiting period for enrollment in the new employers' group health insurance plan.
 "She didn't do anything wrong, and the premiums were paid and up-to- date on her old policy," Casey said. "But the black hole of a health insurance waiting period literally had her scared sick. That shouldn't happen.
 "If the Consumer Bill of Rights had been in place then, Kim would have been covered when she changed jobs. She wouldn't have been forced to risk financial disaster to make a better life for herself and for her young son."
 Other major provisions of the proposal include:
 -- For employers changing insurance companies, all workers would be permitted to enroll with the new insurance company without a new pre- existing condition waiting period. Insurance companies would be banned from excluding anyone from group coverage because of a serious medical condition.
 A pre-existing condition is a disease or physical condition for which medical advice or treatment has been received within 90 days before the effective date of coverage under a group health contract.
 -- A person changing jobs would not be required to meet a pre- existing condition waiting period before receiving benefits from the new employer.
 The protection would apply if the person was covered for at least six months under the previous employer's group policy and applies for new coverage within three months after leaving the previous employer.
 -- Benefits would be extended for at least six months if a person is totally disabled and loses group coverage due to an allowable cancelation.
 -- Companies violating the law would face penalties ranging from a cease and desist order to a fine of up to $5,000.
 Rep. Thomas J. Murphy (D-Allegheny) will be the prime sponsor of the bill in the House. Sen. Eugene F. Scanlon (D-Allegheny) will sponsor the legislation in the Senate.
 The Consumer Bill of Rights is the second major health care proposal offered by Casey this month.
 The governor last week proposed a plan to provide adequate and affordable health care for children under the age of 6. The legislation is sponsored by Rep. Allen Kukovich (D-Westmoreland) in the House and Sen. Allyson Schwartz (D-Philadelphia) in the Senate.
 /delval/
 -0- 3/30/92
 /CONTACT: Spike Lukens of the Commonwealth News Bureau, 717-783-1116/ CO: Pennsylvania Governor's Office ST: Pennsylvania IN: INS SU: LEG


MK -- PH032 -- 2960 03/30/92 14:32 EST
COPYRIGHT 1992 PR Newswire Association LLC
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1992 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

Article Details
Printer friendly Cite/link Email Feedback
Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Mar 30, 1992
Words:617
Previous Article:BANC ONE CONFIRMS PURCHASE OF $65 MILLION CAPITAL NOTES IN PREMIER
Next Article:TOREADOR ROYALTY ANNOUNCES 1991 FINANCIAL RESULTS
Topics:


Related Articles
GOV. CASEY OUTLINES HEALTH CARE PLAN FOR UNINSURED CHILDREN
BLUE CROSS' CARING FOUNDATION AWARDED CONTRACT FOR THE COMMONWEALTH'S NEW CHILD HEALTH INSURANCE PROGRAM
HEALTH CARE COVERAGE EXPANDED FOR UNINSURED CHILDREN
Pennsylvania Gov. Ridge Signs Health-Care Bill; New Law Ensures Mastectomy Coverage, Health-Insurance Portability
Anthem Announces Presidential Commission's Consumer Bill of Rights is Consistent With Current Practices and Company Will Voluntarily Adopt...
Slash your healthcare costs: insider tips on getting quality care for less.

Terms of use | Copyright © 2016 Farlex, Inc. | Feedback | For webmasters